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Step by Step

Rochel Burstyn

You probably don’t usually give much thought to stairs, but today we’re going to explore the highs and lows, the ups and downs, and the many steps in between. We’re going to step back in time and step in the direction of some stare-worthy cases! So c’mon, step right up and read all about it — step-by-step, of course!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Taking the First Steps No one really knows who came up with the idea of stairs. Historians suspect the earliest staircases were to take people down into mines. In 2005, Europe’s oldest wooden staircase was discovered in Hallstatt, Austria, estimated to be more than 3,500 years old. The staircase is about four-ft wide (1.2 meters) and made from pine and spruce. The reason it didn’t decay was because of its location: a salt mine! The microorganisms (living organisms, such as a bacteria, fungi, or viruses, too small to be seen with the eye but visible under a microscope) that make wood rot can’t survive in salt mines. Ironically, now that it’s been discovered it’s beginning to crumble.

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